Signs Your Pet Needs Emergency Care

One of the most terrifying moments a pet owner can have is when they realize that their furry friends are sick or injured. Fluffy and Fido are playful and curious, which can definitely lead them into trouble. However, just like all other living beings, they are also susceptible to health issues, which can sometimes come on unexpectedly. However, it isn’t always easy to tell when a pet needs emergency care, or when they can wait a few days to see their doctor. A Marietta, GA vet offers some insight on this below.

Red Flags

Some things are definite red flags that a pet needs immediate care. Some of these include lethargy, collapse, dry heaving, pale/discolored gums, fever, disorientation, trouble walking, trouble walking, and respiratory trouble, such as gasping or ragged breathing. Other indications that a pet may need to go to the ER would include a hard or distended stomach, difficulty urinating, discharge, known or suspected poison ingestion, unusally high or low body temperature, and coughing up foamy or pink froth. Visible injuries, whether that means limping, bleeding, bite marks, or wounds, should also be considered emergencies. 


There are also things that can be warning signs in some situations, or perfectly normal in others. It’s probably normal for Fido to pant after spending ten minutes chasing squirrels. However, if he’s just lounging about, panting can be a sign of trouble. If you find your normally-quiet cat meowing at a bat in the drapes, you probably don’t need to worry. If Fluffy also seems uncharacteristically restless, cranky, or uncomfortable, that’s another story. It’s also important to really get to know your furry pal, and be familiar with their day-to-day mannerisms and behaviors. That will help you spot anything that is out of the norm.


Not all issues require urgent care. For instance, torn toenails, minor scratches, red or inflamed skin, and/or smelly ears usually aren’t life-threatening critical issues. However, these things still need to be checked out. If you aren’t sure whether or not your pet should receive immediate care, err on the side of caution and contact your vet or emergency clinic and follow their recommendations. This is one area where it’s definitely better to be safe than sorry. 

Do you have questions about your pet’s health? Please feel free to contact us, your local Marietta, GA pet hospital, anytime! 

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